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If it is a 6 cylinder engine you will probably need to remove the intake manifold to replace the rear valve cover gasket. If that's the case the intake manifold also has two hidden screws in the rear against the firewall as well as an EGR exhaust line that must be removed before the intake manifold will come off. I highly recommend you buy a haynes repair manual for your make/model and a flexible mirror-on-a-stick to use for dis-assembly. The spark plugs can be removed after the valve covers are removed (if the valve cover is leaking you will likely have oil pooled around the plugs anyway).
Replace the valve cover gasket if the valve cover gaskets are
leaking or if they're worn. The procedure is as follows:-- 1)First of all let the motor cool down if the car was recently driven. Then remove the air
intake boot.The air intake boot ios attached to the engine's throttle body. 2)Carefully disconnect the throttle
cable , hoses and electrical connectors located on the upper intake manifold. 3)Then disconnect the hard pipe that is
connected to the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve. 4)The EGR valve is located beneath the upper intake manifold. 5)Then remove the bolts from both the upper intake manifold and the manifold
support bracket. 6)Now the upper intake main fold and
lower intake manifold both have got loose as you removed the nut. 7)After that remove the upper intake
manifold from the lower intake manifold. Carefully place clean rags over the
intake runners to prevent anything from falling into the intake system. 8)Then you will have to disconnect the
crank case breather valve on the valve cover. 9)Then remove the bolts from the valve
cover and remove the reinforcing straps. 10)Then remove the camshaft belt cover
and the dust shield from the back of the camshaft sprocket. 11)Now carefully remove the valve cover.
Properly clean the old gasket material with gasket remover. 12)You can install a new gasket in the reverse procedure of removal.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. Place a clean drain pan under the radiator, open the drain **** and drain the cooling system.
Remove the air cleaner assembly and the fuel injector sight shield.
Disconnect the cables from the throttle body and mount bracket.
Remove the coolant recovery reservoir.
Remove the inner fender electrical cover on the right side.
Remove the right rear crossover pipe heat shield.
Disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel rail and from the cable bracket.
Remove the alternator and brace.
Remove the throttle body cable mounting bracket with the vacuum lines and disconnect the vacuum lines.
Tag and detach the electrical connections at the throttle body and both banks of fuel injectors.
Disconnect the vacuum hoses from the canister purge solenoid valve and transaxle module and intake connection.
Unbolt the power steering pump and move forward. DO NOT disconnect the fluid lines.
Tag and disconnect the spark plug wires position lay aside.
Disconnect the coolant bypass hose from the intake manifold.
Remove the solenoid valve mounting bracket and power steering support brace from the intake manifold.
Disconnect the heater pipes from the intake and front cover.
Remove the alternator support brace from the intake.
Disconnect the upper radiator hose from the housing.
Remove the thermostat housing and thermostat from the intake.
Detach the electrical connector from the temperature sensor and sensor switch.
Unfasten the intake manifold bolts, then remove the manifold as an assembly. Remove and discard the gaskets.
If separating the upper manifold from the lower, proceed as follows:
Remove the fuel rail and fuel injectors.
Detach the coolant sensor switch.
Remove the manifold end cap cover.
Remove the upper intake manifold and throttle body assembly from the lower manifold. Remove and discard the gaskets.
Thoroughly clean all gasket mating surfaces.
If replacing the upper manifold, proceed as follows:
Apply a 1⁄16 in. bead of Loctite® Instant Gasket Eliminator 51845 or equivalent to the lower manifold mating surface. Make sure to circle all bolt holes.
Carefully lower the upper manifold and throttle body assembly onto the lower manifold.
Tighten the upper manifold retaining bolts to 19 ft. lbs. (26 Nm).
Install the manifold end cap cover and the coolant sensor switch.
Install the fuel injectors and rail to the manifold assembly.
Clean the mating surfaces and install the intake manifold gaskets and seals. Apply sealer to the ends of the of the intake manifold seals.
Position the intake manifold and apply a suitable thread lock compound to the bolt threads. Tighten the retaining bolts to 88 inch lbs. (10 Nm), twice, in the sequence shown in the accompanying figure.
Attach the electrical connector to the temperature sensor and sensor switch.
Install the thermostat housing and thermostat with a new gasket.
Connect the alternator support brace to the intake.
Install the solenoid valve mounting bracket and power steering support brace to the intake manifold.
Connect the heater pipes to the intake and front cover.
Attach the coolant bypass hose to the intake manifold.
Install the power steering pump support bracket and tighten to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
Install the spark plug wires on both sides.
Install the belt tensioner pulley and tighten to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
Install the power steering pump.
Connect the vacuum hoses to the canister purge solenoid valve and transaxle module and intake connection.
Attach the electrical connections at the throttle body and both banks of fuel injectors.
Install the alternator and brace.
Connect the throttle body cable mounting bracket with the vacuum lines.
Install the right rear crossover pipe heat shield.
Install the cables to the throttle body.
Connect the fuel lines to the fuel rail and mount bracket.
Install the inner fender electrical cover on the right side.
Install the coolant recovery reservoir and upper radiator hose. Fill the cooling system.
Install the air cleaner assembly and the fuel injector sight shield.
Here is a detailed summary on the procedure of how to replace the intake manifold gasket on a 1996 gmc jimmy;
REMOVING THE UPPER INTAKE MANIFOLD(PLENUM)
Disconnect Battery (may not be absolutely necessary, but a good practice to avoid shorting a positive wire to ground).
Remove serpentine belt.
Drain the coolant.
Remove air cleaner ducting and disconnect wires.
Disconnect throttle linkage and bracket.
Disconnect cruise control cable.
Remove brake booster vacuum hose at manifold.
Remove PCV hose.
Remove ignition coil and bracket.
Remove purge solenoid and bracket.
Relieve fuel pressure at test port.
Remove fuel lines and bracket.
Remove upper intake manifold.
REMOVING THE LOWER INTAKE MANIFOLD
Remove the distributor and label the spark plug wires.
Remove heater hoses and bypass hose.
Remove upper radiator hose.
Remove EGR valve?
Remove sensors and bracket on right side.
Remove EGR tube, clamp and bolt.
Remove PCV valve (and replace).
Unbolt A/C compressor and move it aside.
Loosen compressor bracket and slide forward, but do not remove it.
Remove alternator bracket bolt (or remove alternator and set aside)
Unplug all vacuum lines from intake manifold.
Unplug all electrical connectors from manifold.
Take note of the intake manifold bolts and mark the location of the bolts.
Remove intake manifold bolts, and manifold.
Clean mating surfaces
THE MAIN INSTALLATION
Set the new gaskets in place and apply silicone to flat areas on front and rear of engine block.
Apply thread locking compound to manifold bolts.
Install the manifold and tighten bolts to 35 ft-lbs, in proper sequence.
Install the distributor.
Install the upper intake manifold.
The remaining installation procedures are basically the reverse of removal.
the thermostat its located in water out hose near to a/c compressor, to change valve cover, front of engine remove the plastic cover with lexus logo using hex 5mm key 2 bolts , unplug 3 spark plug wires ,loose all 10mm bolts on valve cover , to rear engine valve cover remove before the manifold intake and all components , air filter duct , etc.
If the manifold was replaced, install or connect the following:
Vacuum source manifold.
Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve.
Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor.
Throttle body assembly.
Upper-to-lower intake manifold carrier gasket to the upper intake manifold.
Carefully place the upper intake manifold onto the lower intake manifold. Ensure that the alignment pins in the upper intake manifold align with the holes in the lower intake manifold.
NOTE: Apply thread lock compound, to the bolt threads before assembly.
Install or connect the following:
Upper intake manifold. Tighten the upper intake manifold bolts in sequence to 89 in lbs (10 Nm)
Accelerator and the cruise control cables with the bracket to the throttle body.
EVAP purge solenoid vacuum line to the throttle body.
Connect the electrical connectors to the following:
Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor
Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor
Idle Air Control (IAC) valve
Throttle Position (T/P) sensor
EVAP purge solenoid
Install or connect the following:
Throttle body upper support bracket bolt. Tighten the bolt to 89 in lbs (10 Nm)
EGR valve wiring harness heat shield, nut and the bolt. Tighten the nut and the bolt to 89 in lbs (10 Nm)
when u replace the head gaskets u must also replace any parts gasket that u remove (valve covers, intake manifold etc.) to get the heads off, they sell what is called a "Valve Grind" gasket set that is what u need, it will have all the gaskets in it u need..
do you mean the valve cover ? because I don't think you can have the intake manifold backward.(if it's backward, you cannot connect the upper hose and the fuel lines)
so any way, it sound like you have the valve cover swapped. it won't hurt to drive but it is a problem to fill the engine oil as you stated.
Generally, the valve cover gasket, PCV valve, vacuum lines, exhaust manifold gaskets, and injector seals. These are all things that, universally, should be inspected or replaced at large intervals (60,000 - 70,000) as a matter of preventative maintenance.